The Winter Solstice occurs in December and is the shortest day of the year. On this long night, celebrants are called to set their intentions for the oncoming year. My intentions were based in my need to feel creative and to bring more creativity into my professional life. I also was focused on building a career around my written work and my podcast content. It is also a time to celebrate your connection to nature as it marks the returning of the sun and upcoming spring. On this year's Winter Solstice, I spent the day in candlelight and away from electronics. I decorated my home with pinecones and other wintery nature elements. I made myself a hearty stew filled with beef and root vegetables. I also made sure to spend a portion of my day in reflection by journaling and meditating. All of my practices were uplifted by me taking time to create my wintery environment during my artist date.
The creation of my decorations for The Winter Solstice was my official artist date for week three. My first activity to bridge my creativity with my spirituality was to make solstice lanterns for my meditation altar and living room. I am a collector (possible hoarder) of containers and had a decent stock of glass pasta jars as well as plastic vitamin containers. I soaked the vitamin containers overnight to remove the label and as much of its glue as possible. I also bought tissue paper in blues, white, golds, and yellow. My goal was to decoupage a moon or set of stars on each jar. I would then put a votive candle in each one and have them lit throughout my home.
I was very happy with the outcome of my jars. The tissue paper made a beautiful mosaic of a night sky with either a moon or star set against it. I let them flicker on my meditation altar for the rest of December, having them remind me of the intentions I set during my ceremony. I also was reminded of my love of collage work and the allowance to get messy and imperfect. I get a tactile pleasure when I smooth the glue and paper pieces with my hands, filling in the spots my paintbrush cannot reach. I was a little worried that the glass or plastic would be too slick and the paper would slip from the vessels during the night. I should have more trust in how much glue I use on my collage pieces, because when I checked them the next morning everything had fused perfectly into place.
With my lanterns done, it was time to make paper snowflakes until my hands cramped. This inspiration came from my day job tutoring O. Her teacher was brilliant and decided this was the best and most accessible craft to do for a virtual holiday party with O and the rest of her classmates. I was reminded again that art doesn't have to be labor intensive to be fun or meaningful. With my stack of snowflakes ready and my lanterns fully dry, I set out to create a beautiful space where I would feel blessed to spend a long evening.
A Tarot Reading for the Celebration
After a hearty meal and a yoga practice that welcomed back the sun, I was ready to prepare myself for the days to get a little bit longer. The following tarot reading focused on why I needed rest, how it would benefit me in the long run, and the lesson I will learn from the coming season. I first had to face something I was hiding from during the darkness of winter. As I am putting more of my art out on social media, producing a podcast about my truths when it comes to relationships I've entered, and this blog; I've felt very bold and defiant. I keep radically staying positive and refuse to ponder or wonder about what people will think about my stories or my work. However, Judgement reminded me that I haven't actually faced any feedback, negative or positive, about my work from a large audience. Therefore, I do not know how I will truly behave when the time comes. I could be experiencing a false high so I keep my momentum going and my drive to continue my work my number one priority.
The Four of Swords relates directly to Judgement because it was pulled to show me where I can find my strength in the darkness. From this card I read that I am in charge of how I present myself to those who know me and those who will be allowed to know me. If I present myself from a place of serene calm and do not act as if my work is way out of bonds for me to accomplish, then I set the tone for everyone else to accept that this is my direction now. I also need a way to prioritize all my ideas and projects so I do not overwhelm myself and remember to rest.
The next three cards deal with releasing something so I can find a peaceful rest. I drew Strength as a representation of what I needed to let go of to proceed forward. I find strength in my sense of control and need for everything to go smoothly. With my new path set forth through my more creative pursuits it is now time to allow that bolster of strength to fall away from my mindset. I cannot expect my work to always be perfect at the first go or for this path to be paved with smooth roads. I am constantly pushing my comfort zone with my new projects and am going into unknown territory which is showing my strength but also putting me in a vulnerable position. Next, the Knight of Pentacles was drawn to show me what I need so I can find rest and hibernate away for a little while longer. This card affirmed my belief that I need change but I need to have the patience to allow myself to work for what I want. It was also throwing shade at my love life as it initially made me think that I need to stop relying on romantic partners who promise the world but don't have the emotional maturity to handle giving it to me. The Wheel of Fortune paired with The Knight of Pentacles to show me that if I hibernate under this new, patient mindset then I will be rested enough to take new chances and reap some rewards.
Finally, my last card was drawn to show me the lesson I will learn once this season has passed. The Ten of Wands gave me an overarching theme to this reading. Everything I want to be new in my current life will be hard work. I cannot lose sight of my goals as I struggle to make them a reality. My priorities will need to shift to accommodate my new mindset and with that will come the need to scale back on my ideas or constraints on my time. My most important take-away from this card is to take my new creative focuses one project at a time. The messages I received from this reading dealt a lot with my intentions I set during my meditation. It was with the lens of wanting to live a more creative and fulfilling life, both personally and professionally, that I approached my reading and sough answers.
A Winter Poem about Spring
An online community that I partake in had a winter writing contest. The prompt I chose was to list winter associated words and then write a piece about spring using those words. I haven't submitted my writing for a contest or read it aloud for an audience since I was in school. This poem allowed me to do both and I find it fitting to end this post with this artist's accomplishment.
A woman full of magic packs away her Yule time decor.
She starts sorting the seeds to plant and scatter.
She knows the magic has changed course.
Her cat watches raindrops drop life from above.
No more flurries to chase from inside.
The feline longs for long meditations in the sun.
The woman smiles at the sun's return.
Remembering fondly of the Solstice's long night.
It is winter's time to give magic to spring.
The snow and ice held pure, clean water.
When it melted in release, the grasses turned green.
The earth prepared itself for flowers and life anew.
Brown leaves slushed on the ground, trampled under boots.
Offering their spirits and nurture to the branches above.
They called on trees to open and bud.
The blustery winds blew her wishes across a grey sky.
Her cheeks now warm as soft, spring breezes answer her call.
Manifestations awaiting a new season to grow.
Hot cocoa warmed her spirit and sweetened her soul.
Now, ice clinks in sweet tea to sweeten her peace.
Taking her moments to herself to refill her energy.
As she watches spring accept the magic from winter.